Yet Another Yashica

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_drawbridge, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. This attractive rangefinder sat on the shelf for many months. When it arrived, I'd convince myself that the selenium cell was kaput and that the camera was consequently defunct, but a couple of weeks ago I took it down to dust and fondle, and discovered that the exposure indicator in the viewfinder was swinging back and forth in an enthusiastic sort of way in response to changes of light. So, we were in business. It's a Yashica Minimatic-C.
  2. The Minimatic-C was manufactured by Yashica Co. in japan, circa 1961-63. It's a slightly misleading name, in that there's nothing very "mini" about the camera, it's dimensions and weight being only slightly less than the later Electro 35, a camera which seems to attract criticism on this Forum for it's weight and bulk. It's basically an automatic exposure camera, not unlike the Electro 35 in appearance and function. In auto mode the camera selects aperture/speed combinations using a clever Copal Unique two bladed shutter. Like the Electro 35 there is no numeric indication in the viewfinder as to just what the camera is going, just a Canonet-style pointer moving between red "Under" and "Over " zones, so you just have to believe that it knows it's stuff. And it actually does it very well, handling all the lighting situations I subjected it to with great aplomb. Taking the camera off "Auto" and into aperture selection mode sets the shutter speed at 1/30th and is basically for flash exposure.

    The Minimatic-C is a very nicely-constructed camera, doing much the same job as the Electro 35 in a slightly lighter, smaller package, but lacking the magnificent f/1.7 Yashinon lens. There were two cameras in the selenium-powered Minimatic family, the C and the better-featured S, ably reviewed by Ralf Jakoel about 18 months ago. The C lacks the viewfinder exposure information which is a feature of the S, and has a 45mm Yashinon f/2.8 lens, a downgrade from the f1.8 len fitted to the S. But I have no complaints about the lens; it's right up to the standard I've come to expect from Yashinon glass. I've include one large file in the samples to give you some idea of the quality it can achieve. The film wind is snappy, the shutter release is smooth and positive, the viewfinder has a fixed frame, but it's very bright with a crisp rangefinder patch...overall, it's hard to find much to disike about this camera. It handles well and takes very good pictures. Film was Fuji Superia 200, scans from a Fuji Frontier.
  3. Lovely pictures; the lens seems really sharp. Nice looking camera, though I stay away from all auto exposure or focus machines. They take the fun away from human hands or brains! How did you manage to stand the camera stably on eggs and a rolling tumbler? Your Winter Sunlight is beautiful.
    Thanks for the post, sp.
  4. Very sharp. Nice find. I've heard of the Minimatic C but have never seen any photos taken with one. The 45mm f2.8 Yashinon was widely used in the Minister series as well. And I'm guessing that the lens in the much later MG-1 is related to this lens as well. Good shots and thanks for posting.
  5. Another mintoid rangefinder shooter that performs beautifully in your experienced hands. I've never seen that model before. Piggyback and Wood Stove are tops! Thanks so much for another detailed, beautifully presented post.
  6. Very nice. I'd not seen one of these before. I really like the pictures you took with it.
  7. Very nice, Rick. That's a pretty camera, one I don't have but have read about. The lens sure seems to be a sharp one, but that's not surprising considering it's a Yashica. Beautiful photos as always. Thanks for another great post!
  8. Thanks for your responses! SP, I totally agree with you about the automation; I sometime wonder about discussing this variety of camera on this forum, but where else can it be discussed? When it comes to classic cameras I'm down in the match-needle class, but I have to admire the ingenuity and workmanship of a camera like the Minimatic, doing what it was designed to do on the miserly power of a selenium cell. Mike, I suspect you're right about this lens and it's place in the Yashica range. It's certainly a fine performer for a relatively simple optic. Louis, your intuitive comments are always much appreciated. Funny, how you seem to pick my favourites... And Andy and JDM, I suspect there aren't too many of these about; mine is the only copy I've seen come up for sale down here.
  9. Another model I didn't know! If I read corrrectly. It works on "Auto" with a selenium meter. You do great work and have a way of coaxing excellent light balance with these very capable Yashinon lenses. When I get broken gear it stays broken and in some cases gets worse! Your presentation pictures are first class and I love that you mix B&W an color. Were the B&W XP2?
  10. Fantastic results, Rick ( as always ) !
    I received this camera in error when I purchased my Pentax SV & Super-Tak 55/1.8 . The seller mislabeled the packages and I was the Yashica's Minmatic's foster parent for a few days. My results were no way near as good as yours. Maybe the selenium meter was acting up. The handful of acceptable exposures revealed that the lens is quite sharp ( never any complaints about Yashies of all types ).
    The Minimatic-C is robust and heavy for its size. A lot less uncomplicated than some of the other period auto rangefinders. I don't think I'd actively seek one out any time soon,though, what with the shelves overflowing with Retina's, Voigts, and Minoltas.
  11. Nice camera and nice photos, Rick. Yashica had quite a few winners with their ranngefinders.
  12. Great work as usual Rick, hope that Kiwi winter is not too hard on you. Your town looks to be a great place to "test" out your new acquisitions. Yashica really took the rangefinder thing by the horns and made a bewildering array of cameras.
    I see, though, that you haven't quite let the egg thing go.....I just hope the puns don't start again!
  13. Chuck, thanks for your compliments and you're right, the camera is totally selenium-powered. The B&W's are from the colour negatives, desaturated in Photoshop. You're right Gabor, it's not a camera I'd seek out either, it sort of just came my way. Thanks, Rod, you're talking to a Yashica enthusiast here, and Tony, the winter's wet but not unduly cold, so far, and the great low winter light that SP remarked upon suits the old town. That's definitely the last of the eggs; I couldn't handle another collection of those diabolical puns!
  14. Another egg-cellent post --- your fine photographs illustrate eggs-actly what this gem is capable of --- Yashica glass rocks!

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